Several perform well at Holiday track and field event

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor 

BIRMINGHAM – The indoor track and field season is off and running following the 2019 Holiday Invitational held at the Birmingham CrossPlex on Saturday, Dec. 14, featuring several local champions in individual events.

Thompson’s Jace Jones and Jared Hurst, Chelsea’s Teanna Cason and Calera’s 4X200-meter relay team all picked up first-place finishes to highlight the event for local county athletes.

Jones won both the 800-meter run and the 1,600-meter run behind times of 1:59.61 and 4:21.86, respectively, while Hurst claimed the top spot in the high jump competition with a height of 6 feet, 7.25 inches.

Cason, who also finished fourth in the 1,600-meter race with a time of 5:33.55, finished first in the 3,200-meter run with a time of 11:51.71. The Calera boys’ relay team claimed the top spot in the 4X200-meter race with a time of 1:32.46, which just edged out Clinton High School.

Outside of those four first-place finishes, the county had several other top-five finishers at the event, and the Thompson Warriors put together one of the best efforts of the day.

Sam Reynolds and Ryan Peppins both had strong showings in the 60-meter dash finishing third and fifth, respectively. Reynolds finished the race in 7.02 seconds, while Peppins finished with a time of 7.11 seconds.

Behind Hurst in the high jump, Gavin Gray had a strong showing with a height of 6 feet, which was good enough for a finish of fifth. In the pole vault finals, Blake Ellis was able to claim fourth with a height of 13 feet, 6 inches.

For the girls, ZaKiria Holifield finished in second in both the 60-meter dash and 400-meter dasy. She finished the 60-meter race with a time of 7.89 seconds and the 400-meter race with a time of 58.27 seconds, making her one of two runners to finish in less than a minute.

The Warriors also finished second in the girls’ 4X200-meter relay with a time of 1:4540.

For Oak Mountain, the Eagles claimed top-five finishes in the boys’ 4X200-meter relay and shot put. The 4X200-meter relay team finished fifth with a time of 1:35.63, while Harrison Dimick claimed third in the shot put with a distance of 49 feet, 1 inch.

The Spain Park Jaguars got two high finishes from Mackenzie Culpepper, who finished third in both the 800-meter and 1,600-meter races. In the 800-meter event, she finished with a time of 2:21.38, just four seconds out of first, while she finished with a time of 5:21.47 in the 1,600-meter race.

In the 6A classification, Pelham had a strong showing thanks to Gaeton Rellah, Erin Long and Adia Hasty individually, as well as the 4X400-mter girls’ relay team.

Long finished in the top six of three different events, claiming third in the high jump with a height of 5 feet, fifth in the triple jump with a distance of 34 feet, 2.75 inches and sixth in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 9.80 seconds.

Rellah finished highly in the triple jump finals with a distance of 46 feet, 1.75 inches, while Hasty claimed fifth in the shot put finals with a distance of 31 feet, 5.75 inches. The girls’ 4X400-meter relay team was able to finish third with a time of 4:22.77.

Calera’s other highlights included a strong day from Nia Maye, who finished fourth in the 400-meter dawh with a time of 1:00.98 and fifth in the 60-meter dash with a time of 8.06 seconds. In the 400-meter dash, she was joined by Jordon Bray in fifth with a time of 1:01.27.

Behind that, Trenton Yowe’s sixth-place finish in the 400-meter dash with a time of 51.04 seconds, Jacobi Gaines’ finish of 11th in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 9.04 seconds and Kobe Prentice’s finish of 12th in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.30 seconds were highlights for the Eagles.

The 4X400-meter relay team also had a strong showing, finishing fifth with a time of 3:35.89.

Briarwood also added a top-five finisher in the 1A-5A portion of the race thanks to Jake Nunn’s fifth-place finish in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.21 seconds.